REPORT OF THE MEETING-DEBATE IN SAINT-DENIS ON 26 OCTOBER 2016
The Collective debated on October 26, 2016, in Saint-Denis, with workers, sympathizers and militants, including new members of province. After the introductory report below, the discussion was rich and helped to better understand the mechanisms of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie in an imperialist country such as
A BREATHLESS LEFT AGAINST A REVOLUTIONARY CONSCIOUSNESS AWAKENING
The workers, mainly affected by the crisis of the capitalism, are solicited by left and right-wing politicians at the approach of the presidential elections. The president of the republic would be, as we are told, at the top of his unpopularity. He is kind of shooting himself in the foot voluntarily by distilling of staggering confidences and the majority, or rather the remains who are still claiming to be as such, would be at the edge of a nervous breakdown.
By applying all the economic desires of the MEDEF, the current government majority ended up crushed in the polls of the midterm elections (Senate, municipal, departmental, regional) pulling down his electoral ally, the PCF, as well. So, facing the right, who across his candidates for the primary speaks to abolish 35 hours, call into question again the age of departure in retirement, abolish the wealth tax, cut jobs of civil servants, the bourgeoisie introduce us Valls, Ayrault, Montebourg or Macron as potential rescuers of the left in the 2nd turn.
They are the ones who did not stop crushing socially the workers, by always cutting more social-security benefits, who already mean to appear as a bulwark facing the right, and the FN to continue to serve the capital, exactly as would do the right, by betraying their promises.
However, those who, like the PCF, keep talking about housing, purchasing power, precariousness or about the consequences of the digital revolution, share in the political objectives of the bourgeoisie because they do not question capitalism in their proposals and , on the contrary, propose to arrange it by making the workers believe that the system of capitalist exploitation of human labor can be softened.
Let us take a closer look at Mélenchon, for example:
« It is the age of the people that must begin! »
He wants to be the last president of the 5th Republic to promote a Constituent Assembly, the 6th Republic with a President of the Council Elected by the National Assembly to break with the financial oligarchy. This has already been done with the 4th, which has never prevented the financial oligarchy and industrial capitalism from exploiting workers with the population to accumulate capital to the detriment of the interests of the whole of society. Mélenchon forgets that in France today the right-PS « republican front » is ready to ally itself with the FN rather than try to experience a constitution that, while « adjusting capitalism », would politicize The relations of electoral forces as at the time of the Fourth Republic. This would bring out the class antagonisms between capital and labor, and the bourgeois state would be ready for the worst to prevent the expression of such a reality. The problems are primarily economic and the questioning of criteria worsening capitalist exploitation leads to revolution.
What Mélenchon proposes is therefore impossible to achieve by the elections, for to change the institutions in favor of people’s democracy, one must break the bourgeois State through proletarian revolution.
On the « sharing of wealth, » he said: « We must revolutionize taxes so that everyone pays the same. Our country has never been so rich. We must share wealth. « But what is wealth? The heritage of the rich? Yachts and luxurious villas? The watches at 85,000 euros? Luxury hotels? … What are we going to do with this, as factories are closing and being exported where working force is cheaper? At the same time, deindustrialisation in France keeps more than 8 million workers unemployed. Among them there is a large proportion of young people, many of whom have failed in their schooling, and who are right away unemployed persons.
The real wealth of our country lies in the willingness of the masses to work, in the know-how of those who have the experience of their profession, of those who produce surplus value for capital and who tomorrow will work to ensure the social development .
What Mélenchon does not propose is the expropriation of capital, of the private ownership of means of production, the collective appropriation of banks, factories, laboratories, hospitals, large ommerces and large farms, workers’ control on production and re-industrialization plans. Mélenchon does not propose to organize the socialist revolution by intensifying the class struggle and has no proposal on proletarian internationalism and the world revolution. He does not want to make revolution and prefers cheap talk about ecological « planning », knowing nevertheless that the capitalism he wants to maintain, claiming to make it social, prefers yield, speculation and economic liberalism rather than ecology .
The principle of planning must be under democratic socialism and have economic objectives which at the same time integrate social development and ecology, but for this, planning must be controlled by the workers. But let’s talk to Mélenchon about the dictatorship of the proletariat!
On the way out of the European treaties he proposes: to escape from the ideological obsessions of the European commission and the debt, capitalism would have to function without European treaties. So why maintain capitalism if Mélenchon does not want the inconveniences of capitalist Europe? Yesterday, he defended the concept of social Europe with the PCF. Then, since the failure of Siryza and Tsipras, he renounced the idea of a more complaisant ECB that would pool the debt of the States and renounce the imperialist objectives of the capitalist states to accredit the idea that everything depends on the treaties. But that is the same thing. European treaties are anti-social as long as European countries are governed by capitalist states.
Mélenchon marks opposition between human progress (health, sport, culture, education) and the race for accumulation. It is a good thing, but how can there be in the society a capitalism free to accumulate wealth on the one hand and on the other an exploited people being sharing, practising solidarity, who solves its problems without questioning neither the exploitation whose workers are victims, nor the privileges, nor the bourgeois institutional domination?
Mélenchon’s chauvinism is hardly masked by what he calls « collective enthusiasm »: but France is not for the moment the engine of inventions, progress and human civilization. This role is based on the struggles and international solidarity of the workers and on the progress of the world revolution against imperialist capitalism.
What does the Collectif DÉFENSE propose on the occasion of the presidential elections? To boycott the monarcho-presidentialist system of this type of election. To prefer to show the discontent of the workers against the El Khomri law in the enterprises rather than to be dragged by the PS and the formations more left wing in the political exploitation through presidential elections, which have the only objective to involve a majority of Voters to a choice in the second round which will have no alternative but the policy of austerity against political austerity. Either the republican front against FN (right or PS versus FN), and if the PS makes the campaign of the FN by putting it forward, it is to remove votes off the right wing to try to be present in the second round. It takes a workers party to shed light on the struggle of the working class. Our collective is engaged in the construction of this party. We struggle in trade unions and associations to give revolutionary political objectives to the class struggle. For example, we were present at the feast of Saint-Denis associations and have organized petition’s signatures for the liberation of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah. This battle led by the associations and certain left wing parties is of course to recognize in fact the presumption of innocence towards a man who is condemned to prison for life by France without one can prove its guilt , Condemned in perpetuity for complicity in an act of resistance by Lebanese armed revolutionary fractions, while his country, Lebanon, was invaded by the Zionist troops. This was denounced by the associations asking for his release. He has been detained since 1984 in the prison of Lannemezan in France, country of the constitution of the rights of the man since 1789!
By joining this fight, the DEFENSE Collective goes further, for the struggle for his liberation is a struggle that legitimizes the anti-Zionist point of view. This struggle is therefore linked to the struggle for peace, because the anti-Zionist logic legitimizes the union of the Arab countries against the imperialism that divides, exploits and colonizes. Thus, the war in Syria is the scene of imperialist malversations. Indeed, France which supports the obscurantism of Al Nosra and Al Qaeda in Aleppo presents this terrorism as a democratic opposition in comparison with those who are claiming to be the Islamic state. This helps to drive the region into division and chaos by playing Zionism and multinationals’ game. Thus the fight for the liberation of Georges Abdallah is the same as the struggle against obscurantism facing emancipatory ideas in Aleppo and the Arab world.
This struggle is linked to the struggle against capitalism, for justice, independence and the self-determination of peoples. The detention of Comrade Abdallah is a consequence of the imperialist designs against peace. The reconstruction of a new international solidarity of the workers is therefore necessary in the face of the dangers of internationalization of the imperialist wars. This reconstruction can only really take effect within the framework of the prospect of a world revolution against capitalism. It is in factories and cities that in France we can make interest among workers to converge in order to prevent imperialist military strategies. For this to happen, we must rebuild a revolutionary communist party whose the of its militants’ work be known to the workers. We propose to train your organizations in the fight for the liberation of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah against the export of capital, against the war and the impoverishment of the countries dominated by capitalism, to join and encourage to join the Collective DEFENSE which Will train the new ones to become convincing militants.
A comrade, having recently obtained French nationality, is worried about the rise of the FN and the fascist danger, which seem to emanate in particular from the demonstrations of the police officers (who vote FN to 57%) for more repression. She refuses to resolve to see a second round with the FN and the right; she highlights the ambiguities of Mélenchon on the European Union, those of the PCF, «Frondeurs», whose Hamon’s positions seem the least worst.
She is told that social democracy has betrayed for 100 years with « good proposals »; It has always complied with the imperatives of the State. The government is the service of the bourgeois state. If it does not do it, there is a situation like in Chile in 1973. Whatever the elected government, in this monarcho-presidential system, it will be the policy of the monopolies. The FN will not take power, if only because fascism never comes through the elections and, as a comrade adds, the election is settled beforehand. The bourgeoisie would have recourse to fascism only if there was a revolutionary communist party threatening it; but it depends on the relationship between anti-capitalist forces and revolutionary awareness. The PS agitated the scarecrow of the FN since Mitterrand’s time and thus promoted him.
About the instigation of the «universal income», to which politicians of any edges are agreeing, we notice that it is a device which would serve for exempting the employers of their responsibility as for unemployment. Capitalism cannot give full employment, therefore they pretend to bring an alternative economy with tools (Some comrades quote among them famous «professional social security») to overcome precariousness. Some already present this as an achievement that would be comparable to that of social security. It is enough to bear in mind that all the achievements have been achieved by struggles and never thanks to an electoral victory of this or that party, to realize that this would not be a measure In favor of workers or in breach of the system. Social security is an achievement of the anti-fascist Resistance, achieved when the CGT and the PCF were powerful and defended the interests of the working class and that the power of the USSR obliged the bourgeoisie to satisfy claims rather than risk an overthrow of Its system. If we do not work to overthrow the bourgeoisie, the « good proposals » will not succeed. Now the bourgeoisie wants to eliminate all social gains.
Some comrades talk about the reduction in allowances, precariousness, difficulty in housing, the policy of municipalities that privatize social housing or prefer to pay fines rather than building them. The cities are gentrified and the poor are driven out. We recall the policy of the European Union of leveling down and of flexible wages. To try to adapt capitalism gets to maintaining austerity, because if one does not touch the system, there are always the exploiters to whom the profits go, and the exploited who share what little remains.
On housing, at first, the municipalities PCF wanted to absorb the slums. So they have built modern social housing, which was a progress. But the claim for social housing was not clearly meant to be a national institution, so the funding was based on the shoulders of the communes that could not meet all the needs. Then, there was the deterioration of the social situation, the difficulties of housing … Now, prices increase disproportionately. The system of aid goes into the pocket of the owners (« aid to the stone ») whereas before the law Barre, it was the deferred salary. There must be struggles against the state to generalize social housing. Staying on reformist positions has prevented progress on this issue
A comrade from Lyon thinks it necessary to have a program of alternative to capitalism, which must be elaborated democratically in the sense of needs. Of course Hamon is inspired by them, but what he proposes is impracticable in the current system. The program must identify the most immediate needs. We must go to people, collect their demands, explain why society needs a revolutionary transformation to satisfy them, what means to use to do so. There is the wealth created by labor. Capitalism must be abolished, we must fight against profit, production must be controlled by the workers. Once the revolution is done, a division of labor will allow everyone to have a place in society.
On international issues, it is recalled that without the imperialist intervention against Iraq, there would be no EI. Facing the policy of imperialism, we must promote cooperation, development without exploitation. Some Algerian comrades pointed out that there had been cooperation in the aftermath of Algeria’s independence, but this did not prevent the system of enrichment, from Ben Bella to Bouteflika, except under Boumediene where there was Had had an agrarian revolution, but also many problems persisted.
The comrade of Lyon considers that imperialism is a global phenomenon against which solidarity struggles are necessary. Palestine is a vital cause. From Syria to Yemen via the Donbass, the imperialist countries are interdependent against each other, but the United States dominates. The struggle against the common enemy can unite everyone. The right of peoples to self-determination prevails. In the Donbass, Putin opposed the attachment to Russia that people considered a lesser evil. They have chosen autonomy. The nationalists have become the majority. Now they want the independence of the oblasts. The US did outbid on UE.
Other comrades consider that peoples are above all victims of rivalries between imperialisms. At the fall of the USSR, capitalism dismantled and liquidated the gains of the workers. The mission of Ukrainian fascists is to allow the widespread decline in wages. The US and the US supported them against Russian imperialism. The peoples become aware of what they have lost with the fall of socialism. They must resume their affairs in hand, fight against Russian imperialism, for the reconstruction of socialism.
A discussion is taking place on the question: is Russia in the imperialist stage?. Comrades consider that the bourgeoisie is not at the stage of monopolies, that the export of Russian capital is low in comparison with other countries. But the direction of development is towards imperialism. Putin’s positions are imperialist positions. There is a fusion of banking and industrial capital into financial capital, the oligarchy leads, even if it is divided into different tendencies, which is also the case in France. What counts in the struggle of the peoples is resistance to the monopolies. The Russian Communist Workers’ Party opposes Russian imperialism.
In Syria, French imperialism is more warlike than US imperialism. The Communist Party, which for a time had a minister, supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country.
The Collective was solicited by several organizations for meetings to exchange views on the current situation and references to Marxism-Leninism. The idea of an ideological coordination and joint action committee is launched.